Water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica)

Water Plantain with large base leaves and long flowered stemsThe Water-plantain plant, also known as Mad-dog weed, has small, white flowers and heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips. It has a fibrous root and several long-stemmed leaves with a triangular shaped stem.  The leaves are clustered at the base of the plant.  The plant produces many small white or pale purple flowers with round or slightly jagged petals.  The flowers sit atop three green sepals and have six stamens per flower.

Where to Find: Look for this plant in freshwater and in wet, muddy, full sun areas in temperate and tropical zones

Edible Parts: The rootstocks are a good source of starch. Boil or soak them in water to remove the bitter taste.

Note: To avoid parasites, always cook aquatic plants.

Other Uses: Chinese have used the plant as a treatment for diarrhea, dizziness, painful urination, and back pain.

Water Plantain base leaves and flowered stem

Water Plantain growing in the wild

Water Plantain growing near stagnant water

Close up of Water Plantain leaves

Water Plantain growing in stagnant water

Color drawing of Water Plantain plant illustrating leaf, stem, flowers, and seed

Color drawing of Water Plantain plant illustrating leaf, stem, flowers, seed, and cross sections

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